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Published on January 26th, 2011 | by Rahel Bailie

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What do content strategy deliverables look like?

In the various online content strategy discussion groups, a recurring theme has been about seeing examples of content strategy – not the processes but actual deliverables.  My immediate response of wanting to help out gets tempered with the reality. First of all, sharing a document without the context is relatively useless, and most work is done under NDA. No one who wants to protect their reputations and their clients would expose that kind of work , and particularly in a public forum. As well, there may be some reluctance to give away intellectual property – in other words, if someone comes up with a particularly clever way to deliver value, that becomes a consultant’s competitive advantage. Giving it away is, in effect, giving away earning potential.

There needs to be a balance, though, between self-protection and sharing and support. This is the first in a series of posts that will share some of the generic deliverables that make up a part of a content strategy. However – and this is a big however – these deliverables are to be taken with a grain of salt. They are not offered in any sort of context. Some deliverables may apply to certain situations, and not to others. These are simply my way of doing things, and may not bear any remote resemblance to the way that others create their deliverables.

Building deliverables on common sense

If you were thrown off a boat into a lake, you would figure out how to swim. For the pioneers of content strategy, this was certainly the case. We reasoned out the processes and deliverables based on what we needed to accomplish by the end of the project. It’s still that way, for much of the practice. It has to be. You need to respond to existing situations, and work within the infrastructures and plans in place. It’s basic consulting practice: understand the current state, anticipate the future state, find the gap, and figure out how to fill it. Other consultants do that with finances, staff, and processes. We’re the consultants who do that with content – and what you create is what you need to get the job done.

With this in mind, over the new few weeks I will show examples of some basic deliverables. As always, feedback and suggestions are welcome, and I’ll add to the list as I get suggestions.


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About the Author

Rahel Anne Bailie is a synthesizer of content strategy, requirements analysis, information architecture, and content management to increase the ROI of content. She has consulted for clients in a range of industries, and on several continents, whose aim is to better leverage their content as business assets. Founder of Intentional Design, she is now the Chief Knowledge Officer of London-based Scroll. She is a Fellow of the Society for Technical Communication, she has worked in the content business for over two decades. She is co-author of Content Strategy: Connecting the dots between business, brand, and benefits, and co-editor of The Language of Content Strategy, and is working on her third content strategy book,



4 Responses to What do content strategy deliverables look like?

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention What do content strategy deliverables look like? | Intentional Design Inc. -- Topsy.com

  2. cleve says:

    This is great. I fully understand the struggle between self-protection and share/support. We are starting to engage with content strategists and are trying to get to grips with their outputs because they are our primary inputs. In that respect, happy to share how we as executioners of content strategies (when provided) use those deliverables, and feedback on what’s worked in the past vs what hasn’t.

    Really looking forward future posts in this area and a big thank you for sharing Rahel.

  3. Techquestioner says:

    The Contentini blog has just set up a wiki site for Content Strategy Design Patterns (http://contentini.com/content-strategy-design-pattern-library/) which is another approach to sharing in a generic way that those working in content strategy can use and contribute to without compromising corporate or organizational content owned by others.

  4. Pingback: The Things We Make and Do « Brain Traffic Blog

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